Help! We’re on fire!

Imagine your house is on fire, you would want to get out of there as quickly as possible and save your loved ones. No doubt you would then try and extinguish the fire to save as much of your house and belongings as possible. I’ve never been in a house fire, but have seen a couple and it just seems like such a devastating situation to be in.

Right now it seems Earth is on fire, and yet for most people it seems to be out of mind and therefore out of sight! Is it out of mind or have we just become immune to such disaster stories? Are we all suffering from environmental overload?

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When Notre Dame burned many people mourned its loss. How tragic that a building so old, 856 years, would be gone, but yet funds were pledged to help rebuild this iconic building. Perhaps it is the stories and the number of people that have visited it, that makes it so real.

So why then is it that the something 55 million years old doesn’t receive the same support, financially and emotionally? Perhaps there is this disconnect, that not as many people have visited the rainforest as Notre Dame, therefore it doesn’t seem quite as real to them? Is it because it’s so far away to see the immediate impact?

In Siberia this year 21,000 square miles have been burned, that’s the equivalent of Yorkshire, Lancashire and Devon. And yet this is another example where it seems to have passed people by. Russia after two months of fires have declared an emergency, but the logistics of reaching the fires to extinguish them is difficult, as it will be in the Amazon, if they declare an emergency.

It is important to remember that fires are good for nature, ashes are very nutritious for life to flourish, but the current spate of fires need to be controlled. To put out the fires it costs countries a lot of money, but the logistics of these fires also make them very hard to tackle. The global cost of these fires could be huge, causing concerns about:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Low air quality
  • Increase of Carbon Monoxide
  • Global food shortages
  • Price of food increases
  • Soot falling in the Artic speeding up the rate at which snow and ice melt.
  • Sea levels rise
  • Global temperature increases
  • Loss of life

The UK is tiny compared to countries like Russia, China and America. America have already recognised they have climate change refugees. People who have had to be relocated because the land they live on is being submerged by sea water. America is tracking how much land they have lost to the sea. https://coast.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/stories/ shows you what they have tracked and how they are tackling local projects and communities. If you’re interested in seeing what’s happening in the UK and what strategies are being considered have a look at this: https://www.climatechangepost.com/united-kingdom/coastal-erosion/

Science states that urgent action is now needed to avert a global disaster. Politics will be discussing these matters at G7 in France 24-26th August 2019. As with all things in politics action can seem to be quite slow particularly when these countries do not form part of the 2019 G7 summit. Follow the details of the summit here https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/international-summit/2019/08/24-26/ No doubt the media will provide the key highlights from this event or you can catch up with some of the live streaming on the website.

Science is also the key to help us move forward in these challenging times. There are lots of scientific projects that occur in the background that don’t always get news coverage. One example was on the news today, 23rd August 2019, to show that 33 meters below street level produce is grown. You can even take tours and buy their produce. http://growing-underground.com/

How can you make a positive impact?

Our modern lives demand quite a lot of the earth’s resources and the more we consume the worse the impact, unless we make significant changes to stop this. There are many ways to make an impact.

  • Consume less – September see Oxfam introducing https://oxfamapps.org/secondhandseptember/ campaign to reduce the amount of clothes we buy.
  • Eat less
  • Reduce your travel, for example, work from home once a week, reduce your foreign travel.
  • What energy sources do you use at home? Can you switch to a company that uses more renewable energy? https://www.ecotricity.co.uk/ use 100% renewable energy.

 

What is in store for the future?

She may not be old enough to lead a government but Greta Thunberg is an inspiration for us all. We can all follow her lead and make changes. Check her out on Instagram @gretathunberg and you can follow her current journey across the Atlantic.

Sign a petition – there are plenty out there on www.change.org which one you use is up to you. And if the right is not there, why not create one.

If you feel passionately about something why not get involved with your local community or government. Action speaks louder than words and we need people to carry that passion and implement change. To see how you can get involved with check out https://www.gov.uk/government/get-involved

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